Friday, July 4, 2003

A thought meant for some day in September

Every now and then, when I get bored, I’ll flip through the quotes on my work-issue quote a day desk calendar.

I justified this to myself yesterday by only “spoiling” the surprise of quotes for dates after I leave for England. The one that struck a cord was:

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possible not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born” – Anais Nin.

I think this is terribly true, through each new friend – or new experience – I learn something about myself and my capacities and capabilities.

Similarly, through talking with people who don’t share my views, I’m forced to re-evaluate my own cosy trendy leftist thinking (as Jonathon Franzen notes in “Being Alone”, few narcissistic pleasures beat that of enthusiastic, impassioned conversation with people who share precisely your views).

We discover our own identities through interaction with others, and through new experiences. I’ve learned a lot about myself, I feel, moving cities twice in three years and starting as many new jobs in that time. Living overseas for a year (or more) now seems like just the next step.

For someone who has always seen himself as risk-averse, change-averse and wedded to his comfort zone, I certainly inflict a good deal of change on myself. I like the resilience and confidence I’ve learned as a result.

Oh, I also liked as a quote:

If you have any trouble being condescending, find a Unix user to show you how it’s done” – Scott Adams.

It could only be funnier if I understood it.

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